Week 6 Report Card Grades for Every Starting NFL QB

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIOctober 15, 2012

Week 6 Report Card Grades for Every Starting NFL QB

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    Week 6 of the NFL is nearly in the books, and this week of the season brought up some more stellar quarterback performances from the game's most important position. And as we know, there were bound to be some rather terrible performances, too.

    Today we'll give you the Week 6 report card and grade every starting NFL quarterback.

    Please note that Jay Cutler, Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert all had byes this week. We'll update their report cards following Week 7. 

Ben Roethlisberger: C+

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    Stats: 24-of-40, 363 yards, one touchdown, one interception

    It wasn't an ideal ending for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night. They were huge favorites against the unimpressive Tennessee Titans, but they lost on a last-second field goal.

    While it wasn't completely Roethlisberger's fault, he also struggled to play at a top level against a weaker defense. He failed to consistently move the ball down the field while only completing 60 percent of his passes.

    This was a game that the Steelers needed to win, and Roethlisberger simply didn't bring his best to the table against Tennessee.

Matt Hasselbeck: B-

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    Stats: 25-of-44, 290 yards, one touchdown, one interception

    You have to give Matt Hasselbeck credit for such a gutsy performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He knows he isn't going to be starting once Jake Locker returns from injury, but he is still playing like a starting quarterback in the NFL.

    While he struggled with his accuracy (56.8 percent completion rate), he still made the throws he needed to in order to put his team in place to win their game. The Tennessee Titans have to be thrilled that they have a veteran quarterback like Hasselbeck to mentor Locker.

Tony Romo: B-

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    Stats: 25-of-36, 261 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

    It wasn't a great game from Tony Romo, but it could have been much worse. 

    What I liked from Romo's performance was that he put together a great drive late in the game to give the Dallas Cowboys an opportunity to win. In fact, had Dez Bryant not dropped the game-tying two-point conversion, the outcome of this game could have been much different.

    However, even with that loss, Romo still gave his team chance to win this game. Of course, Dan Bailey couldn't hit the game-winning field goal, but that shouldn't reflect on Romo's game.

    He still needs to play at a higher level so his team isn't forced into these situations, but his late-game performance was enough to earn him a decent grade this week.

Joe Flacco: B

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    Stats: 17-of-26, 234 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions

    This is the second straight week that Flacco has been less than impressive, but the Baltimore Ravens are good enough to win without an "elite" quarterback.

    Flacco was a little better this week, but he was still far from being what the Ravens need in order to be a real threat in the playoffs. With that said, the improving relationship between Flacco and Torrey Smith has to be extremely encouraging for Baltimore.

    With the Houston Texans on the schedule for next week, Flacco is going to need to play much better for them to come away with the win.

Sam Bradford: C+

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    Stats: 26-of-39, 315 yards, one rushing touchdown, zero interceptions

    Despite the St. Louis Rams losing to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Sam Bradford looked more like the rookie version of himself rather than the sophomore/third-year version of himself.

    Even without his best weapon at receiver in Danny Amendola, Bradford still successfully moved the ball down the field. He threw to Brandon Gibson for 91 yards and Chris Givens for another 85.

    The lack of touchdown passes is still worrisome, but if Bradford can continue to gain this many yards through the air, those should eventually come.

Ryan Tannehill: A-

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    Stats: 21-of-29, 185 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions

    Ryan Tannehill led the Miami Dolphins to another victory, and this game was easily his best of the season.

    While he didn't throw for 400 yards, he was extremely accurate and took great care of the ball. He completed over 70 percent of his passes, making every throw you could want from your franchise quarterback.

    If Tannehill continues to surprise and improve at such a rapid pace, his report card will be looking exceptional by the end of the year.

Matthew Stafford: B-

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    Stats: 22-of-45, 311 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one rushing touchdown

    With each week that passes, it looks as if Matthew Stafford's 2011 season was simply a fluke. 

    While he wasn't terrible and the Detroit Lions did win, he still isn't producing at the same rate as he was last year. Sure, he is still throwing for a ton of yards, but the accuracy and touchdowns simply aren't there this year.

    This week was no different, as Stafford completed less than 50 percent of his passes and only had one touchdown despite throwing the ball 45 times. The Lions have to be thrilled after coming away with a tough road win, but I'm sure they would have liked a better game from their franchise quarterback.

Michael Vick: D

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    Stats: 28-of-46, 311 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, 59 rushing yards

    If there is one word to describe the season for Michael Vick, it's "turnover."

    The two interceptions from the Week 6 contest against the Lions give him 13 total turnovers on the season, which is simply unacceptable. With each week that passes, it appears as if Vick is no longer the answer for the Philadelphia Eagles.

    While the coaching staff seems to be behind Vick for the time being, a few more games like this should certainly put him on the bench.

Andy Dalton: C

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    Stats: 31-of-46, 381 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions, one fumble lost

    This type of game from Andy Dalton against the Cleveland Browns was one of the most surprising performances of the week. And that's not in a good way.

    The Browns entered the game 0-5 and should have been outmatched by the more talented Cincinnati Bengals. However, Dalton forced too many throws and gave the Browns opportunity after opportunity to win this football game.

    After looking like he'd taken a major step forward at the start of the season, this game shows that Dalton still has many areas to improve upon moving forward.

Brandon Weeden: A

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    Stats: 17-of-29, 231 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

    The fact that Brandon Weeden won this week is the lone reason for his impressive grade. That it came against a division rival is even better for Weeden and the Cleveland Browns.

    This may be the last time that we ever see Weeden finish a game with an "A" grade.

Andrew Luck: D-

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    Stats: 22-of-44, 280 yards, two interceptions, one fumble lost

    After putting together one of the most impressive rookie performances against the Packers, Andrew Luck struggled mightily in Week 6 against the New York Jets.

    He simply couldn't find his rhythm throughout the game; he definitely looked like a rookie. There were plenty of poor throws, and Luck generally held onto the ball too long.

    Luck has been so good at the start of his career that we thought he'd never have this type of performance. However, he is a rookie, and these games are going to come around every now and then.

Mark Sanchez: B+

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    Stats: 11-of-18, 82 yards, two touchdowns

    Forget about the 82 yards when grading Mark Sanchez for a moment here. Yes, he threw for fewer than 100 yards, but he also threw two touchdowns and no interceptions this week.

    I guess when your running back goes off for 161 yards and three touchdowns, you don't really need to do much to win the game. The best part of Sanchez's game for the New York Jets is that it keeps Tim Tebow on the bench for another week.

Brady Quinn: F

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    Stats: 22-of-38, 180 yards, two interceptions

    I never thought I'd say this, but the Kansas City Chiefs probably can't wait for Matt Cassel to get back on the field. That's how bad Brady Quinn was on Sunday.

    Hopefully this is the last time we see Quinn as a starting quarterback, because if there was a grade lower than "F," he would have gotten it this week.

Josh Freeman: A-

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    Stats: 15-of-26, 328 yards, three touchdowns, one interception

    This is the Josh Freeman that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were hoping they'd finally see this season.

    Freeman's Week 6 performance was easily his best performance of the season by a long shot. While he struggled with his accuracy at times, he did a great job of moving the ball through the air in big chunks of yards.

    Tampa Bay has a lot of ground to make up in the NFC South, but if Freeman continues to play at this level, they could definitely make a run at a wild-card spot.

Carson Palmer: B-

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    Stats: 23-of-33, 353 yards, one touchdown, one interception

    Had we graded only the first half for Carson Palmer, he likely would have ended with a much higher grade. However, we're in the business of grading all 60 minutes, and Palmer struggled just enough in the second half to bring his grade down.

    You have to give credit to Palmer for getting his team ready to play a much superior team in the Atlanta Falcons. Had Matt Ryan not made another late game-winning drive, the Oakland Raiders could have pulled the major upset during overtime.

    Unfortunately for Oakland, Ryan lived up to his "Matty Ice" nickname again, and Palmer is stuck with just a decent grade on this week's report card.

Matt Ryan: D+

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    Stats: 24-of-37, 249 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions

    If the Atlanta Falcons had lost this game, Matt Ryan surely would have finished with an "F" this week.

    However, he somehow managed to get his team down the field in less than a minute for the second time this season. This was easily Ryan's worst performance of the season; had this game happened against any team other than the Raiders, it's likely the Falcons would not be the lone undefeated team in the NFL.

    If Atlanta wants to be considered a legitimate Super Bowl threat, it can't have its quarterback posting a 59.4 quarterback rating many more times.

Tom Brady: B-

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    Stats: 36-of-58, 395 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions

    You can't really blame Tom Brady for what happened on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Sure, he threw more interceptions this week than he had in the previous five weeks combined, but he still had an impressive game for the New England Patriots.

    Unfortunately, his defense failed him late in the fourth quarter, and Brady simply couldn't keep the ball moving when he needed to. The fact that Brady was unable to put away a team like the Seahawks has to be cause for concern in New England.

    Brady is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but he definitely didn't look like it on Sunday.

Russell Wilson: A+

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    Stats: 16-of-27, 293 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, one fumble lost

    It isn't too often that a rookie quarterback can say he outplayed Tom Brady, but not all rookies perform as Russell Wilson did on Sunday.

    While the first three quarters weren't overly impressive from Wilson, he did just enough to keep his team in the game. Then, when the fourth quarter came around, Wilson looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

    He led two touchdown drives in the final eight minutes of the game, including a game-winning 46-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with just over a minute remaining.

    While Wilson's statistics may not always be pretty, he currently has his team sitting at 4-2 and is winning games when the Seattle Seahawks need him to most.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: C-

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    Stats: 18-of-32, 153 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions

    I simply can't see how the Buffalo Bills can feel confident about their future at the quarterback position. 

    There haven't been many games this season in which Ryan Fitzpatrick has earned a good grade on his report card, and he certainly didn't earn one this week. Despite Buffalo winning the game, the only good thing Fitzpatrick did all game long was not throw an interception.

    With the AFC East looking wide open to whatever team can string together some victories, the Bills can't feel too good about Fitzpatrick leading their team to those victories.

Kevin Kolb: D+

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    Stats: 14-of-26, 128 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 66 rushing yards

    As bad as Kevin Kolb was on Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals have to be thankful that John Skelton wasn't playing quarterback for the full 60 minutes against the Buffalo Bills.

    After Kolb injured his ribs with only a few minutes remaining in the game, Skelton came into the game and completed two of his 10 passes for 45 yards and an interception. Kolb was terrible in this game, but he wasn't 6.2-quarterback-rating terrible.

    The Cardinals finally look like they are coming back to reality after starting the season hot, and Kolb's ugly report card the past two weeks is the main reason why they've been struggling.

Christian Ponder: C

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    Stats: 35-of-52, 352 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, one fumble lost

    Few quarterbacks have been as pleasantly surprising as Christian Ponder this season, but his Week 6 performance reminded us that he is still only in his second year in the league.

    Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins showed us many of the same issues that plagued Ponder when he was a rookie. He was indecisive with the football at times and would often stare down his intended target.

    There is no doubting that Ponder is the long-term answer for the Minnesota Vikings, but on Sunday, the team got a reminder that he's still young.

Robert Griffin III: A

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    Stats: 17-of-22, 182 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 138 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns

    For Robert Griffin III to have this type of performance after there some was doubt that he'd play is simply incredible. He once again proved that he is already one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL.

    His 138 rushing yards were more than the Minnesota Vikings had as a team, and while the majority of those came on a 76-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter, it is still an impressive feat.

    It was a great game for Griffin, who still has the Washington Redskins in contention for a playoff spot.

Eli Manning: B+

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    Stats: 15-of-28, 193 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions

    Everyone thought that the New York Giants were going to need a huge game from Eli Manning to get a win against the San Francisco 49ers. Boy, were they wrong.

    Manning assumed the role of game manager, and it was a role he executed beautifully. With Ahmad Bradshaw running wild, the Giants simply didn't need Manning to do more than make a few plays here and there.

    This was a statement win for the defending Super Bowl champs and a quality performance from Eli.

Alex Smith: F

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    Stats: 19-of-30, 200 yards, zero touchdowns, three interceptions

    Did anyone else feel like we went back three years in Alex Smith's career on Sunday?

    It's been so long since we've seen a truly awful performance from Smith that I thought we'd never see another 43.1 quarterback rating from him again. However, it really was a terrible game for Smith, who could never get things going against the New York Giants.

    The San Francisco 49ers still need to be considered one of the elite teams in the NFL, but if Smith continues to regress like he did on Sunday, they could find themselves in the cellar of the NFC West in no time.

Aaron Rodgers: A+

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    Stats: 24-of-37, 338 yards, six touchdowns, zero interceptions

    This was the type of game that Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers desperately needed.

    While Rodgers hasn't necessarily been playing terrible football this year, he certainly isn't producing at the same level that he was last year. That was, of course, until he exploded for the best game of the season by any quarterback.

    Rodgers dominated one of the better defenses in the league from the opening drive, and he didn't slow down until the game was well out of reach. If he can continue to perform at this level, the Packers will be a scary team for the rest of the season.

Matt Schaub: D

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    Stats: 20-of-33, 232 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions

    There was simply nothing Matt Schaub could have done to look good Sunday night against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The fact that he struggled so much when his team needed him to keep up with Rodgers is the reason he gets such a low grade.

    Schaub just never looked comfortable against Green Bay and was unable to get into any type of rhythm. He had decent protection for the majority of the night but couldn't make the throws that he needed to make.

    The Houston Texans' first loss of the season doesn't fall squarely on the shoulders of Schaub, but if they want to be considered legitimate contenders for the rest of the season, their quarterback needs to play better than he did in Week 6.

Peyton Manning: Incomplete

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    Peyton Manning doesn't play until Monday night against the San Diego Chargers. We'll update his report card after the game.

Philip Rivers: Incomplete

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    Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers play the Denver Broncos on Monday night. We'll update his report card after the game.